Remember the obsession with John Grisham back in the '90s? It started with the The Firm, followed into The Pelican Brief, and continued with The Client, A Time to Kill, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, and The Gingerbread Man. For a handful of years, his stories spread like wildfire. But they also burnt out quickly, and the 2000s have only offered Runaway Jury in the typical thriller vein, plus the easily forgotten Christmas with the Kranks and the screenplay for Mickey.

At the end of 2008, it looked like the scribe might be slated for a return to form with Shia LaBeouf starring in his not-yet-out novel, The Associate. Though the project hasn't moved much recently, it's finally gotten new life as new reports see Tony Scott circling the project.

Sources have told Los Angeles Times' 24 Frames that Tony Scott is "just a step away" from signing on as director of the Paramount production, The Associate. How you respond to that news probably depends on the Scott you remember. In recent years, he's the man who brought us the truly disappointing The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, plus an easily forgotten Deja Vu and Richard Kelly's Domino. But go back a little further and he's got Spy Game, Enemy of the State, Crimson Tide, True Romance, Beverly Hills Cop II, Top Gun, and The Hunger.

Merging two names a whole lot bigger in the '90s than they are presently constitutes a risk, but it could also jolt both into mainstream relevancy once again. It doesn't hurt that Shia LaBeouf is along for the ride (unless he backs out once all is said and finally done). In previous years, that might have worried me, but after New York, I Love You, I'm intrigued to see where -- and how far -- Shia will go.

Is it time for more Grisham, or should this type of thrills stay in the '90s?